By nature I am a strategist. Even the creation of my artwork requires an indepth strategy of resources and plans to achieve a successful art piece. Strategy work first came of age in the realm of war where strategists worked on plans to defeat the enemy. One of my great struggles has been implementing the strategy to conquer my own chronic pain. Those of us who suffer with chronic pain are in a war. It is not just a battle but a war. The battlefield is our very person.

On the Mental battlefield, we fight to keep it all together, staving off depression and working to keep a good frame of mind. Our attitude is everything.

On the Social battlefield, we fight the temptation of isolation. It is less painful to be comfortable at home away from others but research has proven that community is important to healing.

On the Spiritual battlefield we battle the temptation to blame God for that which perhaps God has no part in. Blaming God is easy. Digging deep and seeing God and loving God for who God is and not what I have made God to be is a work in progress. I constantly have to remind myself that God really is trustworthy in the midst of my pain even if I may not get what I want..

On the Physical battlefield we balance what we can do by what we can’t knowing too much creates pain flare ups and not enough contributes to our depression and pain. It is a fine line to walk. Repairs around the house go wanting.

On the Nutrional battlefield, we have to eat foods that are anti-inflammatory in nature knowing the foods we enjoy may cause inflamation which leads to pain. And no, Oreo cookies are not anti-inflammatory!

On the Medical battlefield, we have to work to find the best medicines that can help us manage our pain, trying to balance the pain Meds with the side effects. So much change is happening now involving medicines, doctors, and treatment. Over regulation is a reality today which creates frustration on top of frustration.

In the financial battlefield, it all adds up. Pain management is not free. Out of pocket costs add up. Cheap food is often inflamatory food. Doctors fees continue to rise. Transportation becomes expensive. Disability pay is a huge struggle to attain.

And all of it, every bit of it can become so very exhausting! There are no guarantees. The end game in unknown. Unlike actual War Strategies, the nuclear option to this war is not an option to most, but suicide is really high among chronic pain patients.

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